In short, inflammation is the body’s natural response to protect itself from harm. There are two types of inflammation, acute and chronic. You are probably most familiar with acute inflammation – for example when you get a cut or scrape. Your body mobilizes an army of white blood cells to surround the area and start the healing process. This is where the redness and swelling come from. This only lasts for a short period of time, until the site is healed. Then everything is back to normal.
Today, we are not talking about acute inflammation but rather chronic inflammation. This occurs when we have unwanted substances or toxins are constantly present in the body. It is kind of like having a never-ending to-do list. You never get a break and just feel overwhelmed all the time.
Inflammation can come from the sugar we eat, high doses of the wrong kinds of oils and fats in our diet (omega 6 & 9 vs. omega 3), hidden food allergies, lack of exercise, chronic stress, hidden infections, and our fat cells. This low-grade chronic inflammation that you cannot see or feel can contribute to every one of the major chronic diseases: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and more.
“Unfortunately, chronic inflammation typically will not produce symptoms until actual loss of function occurs somewhere. This is because chronic inflammation is low-grade and systemic, often silently damaging your tissues over an extended period of time. This process can go on for years without you noticing until a disease suddenly sets in.”
INFLAMMATION IN OUR DIET
Consuming oxidized refined oils can deplete your body’s antioxidants and increase inflammation inside the body. Refined seed oils include canola oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, vegetable oil, flaxseed oil, and grape seed oil.
These oils are produced in massive quantities and are found in margarine, salad dressings, mayonnaise, sauces, chips, popcorn, frozen entrées, baked goods, and just about any other processed food. Due to the high-heat process used to extract oils from these seeds the delicate polyunsaturated fats and nutrients they contain are damaged. These oils are usually rancid by the time they hit grocery store shelves. BOOOOO!
In addition to increased inflammation, the polyunsaturated omega-6 linoleic acid found in refined seed oils and trans fats increases the permeability of the intestinal tract (leaky gut). Definitely not a good thing!
Refined oils will skew your dietary ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in the wrong direction. A high dietary ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is associated with more inflammation. It is estimated that the SAD (standard American diet) has 15 to 20 times as many omega-6 to omega-3; the ideal ratio should be close to 1:1.
This high ratio can contribute to accelerated ageing and the development of many chronic diseases: cardiovascular disease, some cancers, arthritis, and other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
Too much polyunsaturated fat can be detrimental to your health.
To improve your health and reduce inflammation, decrease your total polyunsaturated fat intake and improve your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio by avoiding the refined oils listed above.
Take Away Point: Starting reducing the overall inflammation in the body by removing refined oils from your diet and replace with higher quality stable oils. Seek our avocado oil or coconut oil for cooking and extra virgin olive oil for drizzling on vegetables.
Rock the day!